EDF-Cambodia is a member of the EDF Group , in assistance support by Japan (EDF-Japan [Known as Minsai Center Japan] ). EDF Group mission is to help promote basic education in Cambodia and other developing countries. Its aim is to empower children in developing countries to have a better life and to become qualified human resources in order to overcome poverty in their communities EDF-Cambodia is operating in five main purposes:
  • To support to rural poor children to get access to free and quality education and completed lower secondary school(Grade 7, 8, 9) due to the financial facing in the families. The grant will based on the family economic condition and situation.
  • To establish with the philosophy of poverty reduction and education development.
  • To develop children education and self-confidence, so that they can better support their families communities and society.
  • To provide scholarship and carries out development projects for underprivileged students and schools as well as caries out expand and research new projects.
  • EDF-Cambodia is non-profit organization and is not involved in any political issues.
EDF-Cambodia’s objective is to increase poor students access to primary schools, children should be given the chance to complete their education and grow into adults who make a contribution to their local communities development and also to encourage students with materials support to overcome the poverty, and continue to study lower secondary schools(increase poor students’ educational opportunities).

Student Stories
Story of Scholar OM SREY NECH

OM SREY NECH is 12 years old, studying at grade 7 at CHIBACHRO Lower Secondary School, which locates at Saray Andeth village, Chres commune, Kampong Trolach district, Kampong Chhnang province.

My parents were divorced few years ago, when my father fail sick. My father’s body has permanently vibrated, especially his both hands; he moved to live in a cottage nearby his brother and sister’s homes after getting divorce. I, as my father fail sick and could not work, felt sorry for him because he is sick and could not work and I decided to live with him to take care of him. I have faced with difficult living situation because my family has almost got no income and we have been fed by my grandmother, aunt and uncle; they are also poor.
My father could not work to get income, but he could do light work such as raising chicken; we made our living with raising chicken and rice cultivating on a small farmland; we have only 3 chicken. The rice cultivation provided poor product that could support my family from 3 to 4 months only; we live in hard situation. I have also involved in finding money to support my family; I worked for my aunt and uncle’s families at the farm when school was on holiday during cultivating and harvesting seasons, but the working period was too short, about 4 to 5 days and I got total income of 7,500Riel (US$1.87). I sometime visited my mother and she gave me 5,000Riel (US$1.25) for going to school.
SREY NECH’s father Mr. OM HEIY said that” I cannot work to get income to support my family, I can do light work at home such as raising hen, but I have only 3 hens; my living situation is very worst. My family’s living situation has based on my brother, sister and mother; they are poor; I feel very sorry for my daughter and would like to request the donor to continue support her with scholarship.

I go to school every day because I like studying; I wish to study until to complete grade and want to be a teacher of lower secondary education. I do not know I can study until to complete grade 12, because my family is very poor, but if somebody or organization supports me, I can continue my study until to complete grade 12. I wish to take English private class so that to improve it before I go to high grade; the tuition fee is 300Riel (US$0.075). I do not have money to study. I used to take English private class for a short period, and then I stopped it because of shortage of money; I like to study English.
I go to school every day with almost no money to buy something to eat at school; sometime my father or grandmother gives me 300Riel (US$0.075); I, with this amount, can buy 3 pieces of candy.
I would like to wish donor good health and happiness and also to request donor to continue support me so that I can continue my study.

The living situation of poor people is almost the same condition throughout Cambodia; they will face with serious condition if the family member falls sick or get accident. They have to sell their properties such as cow and farmland or get loan from the micro financial bank to care the sick; they will face with bad living situation and fall into poverty !

Scholar PHEM SOVIN’s Family

Cambodia is a developing country with a narrow economic base. The garment, tourism, and construction sectors have been driving economic growth and job creation for Cambodia the last few years while the agricultural sector, which a majority of Cambodians rely on for their livelihoods, remain poor and unstable. Despite several consecutive years of double-digit economic growth, the poverty rate has remained high, especially in rural areas. The growth has only resulted in a reduction in the poverty rate of 1 percent per year and income distribution is notably uneven, which means growth is not well shared among Cambodian people. This poverty is the obstacle for education in Cambodia.
The family of scholar Phem Sovin is one of rural families; Sovin is 10 years old and she studies at grade 5 in Krallanh primary school. Sovin’ s family has five members, mother, widow, and four siblings and she is a third child of her family.
Sovin’s mother said that “It is a heavy burden for me to take care of the whole family and my daughter Sovin also help me to survive the family. I am a worker at shoes factory CANSPORT; I have to work ten hours per day, and get income about US$65 to US$70 per month”.
She added “This amount cannot cover the living condition of my family, thus my daughter Sovin has to help the family to get income to supplement the family’s need. She has to work at weekend and during school holiday as rice harvesting and cultivating with the daily income US$2.5 per day; it is not a regular work that she could work two or three months with average income US$30 to US$40 a year, and moreover she has to do housekeeping after school”.
She said that ”The monthly average expense for my family is about US$200 per month; it is US$40 for rice, US$ 80 for foodstuff, US$10 for medicine, US$30 for children to school and US$50 for others, thus I have to get loan from neighbors to supplement the need every year, and the most worst condition for my family when someone get sickness. Though, my family faces with hard living condition, I do struggle for my son and daughter to study so that they have good future; Sovin wishes to be a professional worker and wishes to work at the garment factory nearby the village, and I also want her to be a professional worker so that she could get high salary; Sovin has to study to complete grade 9 and she has to continue at vocational training school for one or two years to become the professional worker. I do not want my daughter and son to have the same destiny as me, because I finished at grade 3”.

Story Of Brak Sopheap

Child’s right to access education is a universal human right, but however, a large number of rural children have lack of chance to access education at least of 9 years of schooling; it is due to the parents’ perception of the value of education, own education attainment and economic situation.

Education is free in Cambodia, but the heavy burden still falls on parents or guardians to provide a large amount of the costs associated with accessing education such as starting, daily and additional costs. These costs can seem negligible, when added together; they can pose an insurmountable barrier for the family, thus decision about whether to keep children in or out of school are easier to make if there is an additional economic strain on the parents to keep their children in school.

REN SARAK, one of the rural students,  12 years old, living at TEUK PHOS district, KAMPONG CHHNANG province; he will graduate primary education in this academic year 2015-2016 and continue to junior high school next academic year; SARAK’s dream is to be a teacher.

REN SARAK’s mother passed away and his father got late wife, and abandoned the children.

SARAK has three siblings, elder sister and younger brother, and he is the second child of the family; they have lived with grandmother in a poor cottage.

SARAK’s elder sister, due to hard living situation, decided to drop out her study at M1 to find job to support the family; she has sent money to her 120,000Riel(U$30) per month. SARAK, as the money sent from elder sister cannot support the living condition, has to find job after school time and on holiday; he finds vegetables, fish and so on with small income about 5,000R (U$1.25) per day and it is not regular.

SARAK’s grandmother said that” SARAK will go to junior high school, where about 6km from home; I do not know how to support him to go to junior high school, because the school is far and he need bicycle”.   

Many rural children have faced families’ living situation and together with poverty casing low enrolment and high dropout at secondary education; the gross enrolment at lower secondary education was 53.5% and the dropout rate was 21.2%, reported Ministry of Education 2015.

Education and EDF Scholarship Program

Education situation at Trapeang Ropov Junior High School, which locates Trapeang Ropov village, Preak Thnoat commune, Tuek Chhou district, Kampot province, has faced with  some obstacles for education enhancement and enrichment and  dropout. Student’s dropout  is also one of the main challenging issues for the school; the critical reason of this circumstance is families’ economics condition; their main business or career in area is fishing. Fishing requires at least two persons; some families, due to lack of manpower, need their children help fishing so that to get income for the daily living; this often makes children have to skip their class.

From day-to-day, number of skipping is accumulated and some students lose intention and desire for schooling, are afraid or ashamed of going to school, cannot catch up the lesson and concentrate only on how could they fish and find money to support family; finally, dropout becomes their choice and dealing with dropout also comes to be school problem.

Fortunately, this problem has been better while the present of EDF Scholarship Program has started to Kampot; the  scholarship has been provided to the poor children who are starving to study and intend to change and develop their future through education and it also encourages teachers be easier in teaching as well.

For the real fact, Surng Sreimom, an 8th grade student and 17 years-old schoolgirl, is benefiting from this program; her father Mr. Mom Surng, was dead of disease since she was a young and her mother Mrs. Chim Chhaem an 45 years old is working as mate [taking care old lady at one house] in Phnom Penh. She earns USD 50 per month.

Sreimom is the only child in family that has lived with unhealthy grandma that unable to work; Sreimom  is one of outstanding student in class and  likes to study Biology and dream is to be a staff at any NGO.  After class, she normally does house work because her grandma is too old and unhealthy to do those stuffs;  she gets out to work as labor to peel crab’s carapace and claw during weekend and vocations and  normally earns from USD 0.75 – 1.25 per day. Sreimom has nasal disease that brings problem to her lung; she, due to lack of nutrition, used to unconsciousness at school.

Sreimom has struggled with her study so that to achieve her dream; she has never intention to give up her study though her health problem and poor living condition. She said that “EDF scholarship helps my study and encourages me to study until to complete school to achieve my goal”.

EDF scholarship has played important role in education development; it has effectively increased the enrolment of students at this school and retained the students from dropout.


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